Obsessive problem solving

In my last post on coping with anxiety, I discussed how self-awareness (both internal and external) was a vital starting point for anyone who wants to manage the anxiety disorders in their lives. This is a good time to begin to look at individual symptoms that need to be tackled in order to successfully deal with anxiety. So, let’s look at Obsessive Problem Solving.

What is Obsessive Problem Solving? Well, for our purposes, think of this as an urgent (irrational) need to resolve every problem occurring in one’s life. Not only that but the problem has to be solved as fast as possible!

Some of you might be thinking – isn’t problem solving part and parcel of life and somewhat unavoidable? Indeed it is, and in fact, the ability to solve problems is a prized human trait. But here I am talking about an irrational obsession with problem solving which sometimes identifies problems that aren’t even there!

Worse still, the gnawing desire to eradicate the problem (and attain peace of mind) often leads to bad decision making as the solution may actually take time to surface. Thus, a bad habit of making rash decisions develops from this obsession. A very unhealthy trait as it usually creates more problems than it solves.

In the circumstances, two possible approaches. One, do not pre-judge the situation because the problem may not be a problem at all. This requires a certain amount of self-reflection to determine whether the problem is even a problem at all. Having a trusted friend provide an objective perspective would be invaluable – you might be surprised at how wrong your judgment might be!

The second suggested approach is sometimes to do nothing, initially at least. Give the problem a couple of days or weeks, if nothing practical can be done at the present time. I have personally made bad hasty decisions that could have been avoided if I had simply been more patient.

Well, that’s basically how I deal with Obsessive Problem Solving – hope you found this helpful. Comments as usual at our Facebook page. Wishing you good mental health always!

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